October 25, 2017
Welcome to The Bridge News Section, a weekly update of the Rappahannock River District of the United Methodist Church! Local Church EVENTS are in separate email.
From our DS....
We Asked & You Are Answering! Part 2

The Charge Conference season is moving at a great steady pace. Some of our churches chose the Sunday morning worship-conference combo, some have the individual night conference, and others are part of the cluster conference model.

Laity all over the district are answering one important question (asked in a few different ways). Many of you, the laity, have wrestled with the questions:

What steps do you use to Make Disciples?

How is your congregation (members and clergy) guiding folks deeper into Spiritual Maturity?
What’s your intentional process for making disciples?

Here are some answers that we're hearing:

Our process steps will include these three steps:
I. Personal Reflection to include prayer, discernment, communication, more small group study, and increased mission ministry;
II. Encouragement & Reflection to include welcome and invitations;
III. Creation of Vitality teams for greater response to community needs and much more visibility in the community.

We are a very small church which has been blessed recently by six Professions of Faith. We are making more intentional efforts to develop steps and we are more intentional about connecting with and reaching out to children. We are placing an emphasis on encouragement and enthusiasm through worship, outreach, and relationship building. We realize that disciple making is a long process that takes time and intentional effort.

We realize that we must ignite a Christian passion by example. We will create steps that are centered around the External, around annual events more focused on disciple making, and ministries that take place off the grounds of the church .

The Wednesday, October 7 th cluster was pleasantly surprised when Salem Church introduced their teen presenter, Ben Sholtis. Ben reported with clarity, with confidence, and shared the ways the very small Salem Church is taking the question very seriously. Ben reported that Salem Church is focusing on both “beginner” Christians and the more “experienced” Christians. Ben reported that Salem Church is still learning about intentional disciple making and plans to fine tune ministries like bible study, youth outreach, relationship building, use of the church facility for children and youth, as well as use of the music ministry.

The Falmouth congregation has looked at the Dotson resource and added a uniquely Wesleyan theological touch to creating their steps. Falmouth Church is designing their steps around the Wesleyan three fold grace – ministries for those in the spiritual places of Prevenient, Justifying, and Sanctifying grace. Falmouth states that they are still working on the steps and the specifics, but see the three fold grace as a great spiritual based foundation along the way.

Friends, if your leadership is having difficulty, maybe you’ll begin first with the Dotson resource, then look at connecting the dots from your ministries to proven disciple making results. This means your members are able to see clearly how ministries like small groups lead a new Christian from very little bible life application to the bible as a daily source/resource.

Keep up the good work friends!

Call for Nominations for At-Large Delegates at Annual Conference 2018
At our District Conference at Wright's Chapel UMC on Saturday, November 18, 2017 the District will elect At-Large Delegates for next year's Annual Conference in Hampton (June 15 - 17, 2018). 

We need to elect 28 At-Large Delegates and 9 reserve delegates.  In order to be on the ballot, you need to complete a nomination form and return it to the District Office by November 1.   You can nominate yourself or someone else (with their permission). Please click on the links below for either a PDF or Word version of the nomination form and return it to:

Rappahannock River District Office  
Mail : PO BOX 100, Ladysmith, VA 22501 
FAX   804.448.8328  (call to confirm receipt)
Keynote Speaker:
Dr. Bobby McClain

Training Classes include:

Book of Discipline 101
Clergy Tax Matters Workshop
Making Disciples 
Navigating Social Media
Racial Harmony
Ways of Experiencing God
District Conference 2017: “Go, Make Disciples” 
Rappahannock River District Conference
& Training Event
8:30am – 2:00 pm

Saturday, November 18, 2017
Wright’s Chapel UMC
8063 Ladysmith Road, Ruther Glen, VA 22546
I-95 Exit 110, Ladysmith
Classes are limited because of space limitations - sign up soon!
Please let us know if you're coming to the conference even if you're not able to stay for classes (so we have enough handouts).
Builder's Club Call for Warsaw ENDS NOVEMBER 1
 The Builder’s Club is a group of Laity and Clergy from across the District who have pledged financial support for building new churches and renovating and expanding exsting church facilities on the district.

The Club raises money by issuing a call to its members two or three times a year. When members receive a call letter, they will receive information about the church, the location and information about the project. Members are then asked to respond with a donation to the Club. You decide how much to donate - donations come in from $10.00 to $1,000.00. All donations are tax exempt and you decide the amount you wish to give for each call. No more than three calls will be asked of you during any given year. You can opt out of the Builder’s Club any time if your circumstances change.

This Call (the first in two years) will be for Warsaw United Methodist Church in Warsaw, Virginia. The request is for renovation of the lower structural part of the existing Sanctuary. This will include replacement of footings, foundation, sill plates, support beams and new floor joists where needed. 

Please click here to see the information packet for Financial Information and letter from the Warsaw Pastor explaining the project in detail.

Anyone who would like to contribute, please send a check payable to Rappahannock River District and mail to Rappahannock River District Builder's Club, PO BOX 100, Ladysmith, VA 22501  Please indicate in the memo box that it is for Builder's Club Call #5. The call will end November 1, 2017 .

Thank you for supporting and serving in this connectional ministry.
Ministry Grants Available from Foundation Office
REMINDER! It's October which means we are sipping apple cider and taking out our fall jackets. However, it also means the deadline for VAUMF Grant Applications is approaching!

  Deadline is October 31st .

If you have any questions about how to apply for a VAUMF Grant, please give us a call  804-521-1121  or visit here to apply.
To read more about the Foundation’s Grants Initiative,  read here.  
St. Matthias Mission Trip to Honduras
St Matthias UMC, Fredericksburg, will be putting together a mission team to return to Honduras 26 May-2 June 2018. The organization whom we work with is World Gospel Outreach and you can find out more information about them by going to their website at  wgoreach.org . We are looking for medical people and people who just want to love the Honduran men/women/children and share the gospel of Jesus. For further information, please contact Peg Jones,  540-775-5729  or  pegjonesva@gmail.com
Two Opportunities to Donate:
Healthy Families of Rappahannock Area are in need to newborn diapers and wipes.
Among the homeless in Stafford County are Middle School and High School youth. Here are a few of their needs (apart from safe and healthy housing):
new underwear and socks of all sizes;
warm clothing for the winter; Most urgently needed: toilet paper, soap, shampoo and
feminine hygiene products.

If you or your group are willing to help with either of these needs please send an email to heartwoodcenterfredericksburg@gmail.com.

District Meetings & Training

Thursday, Oct. 26 Finance Committee Fredericksburg UMC Room 209 7:00pm
Saturday, November 4 UMW District Harvest Prayer Breakfast, Henderson UMC
Thursday, November 2 Heartwood Board, St. Matthias UMC
Thursday, November 9 District Board of Church Location & Building, WC, 7:00pm
Tuesday, November 13 DCOM, Wright's Chapel
Saturday, November 18 District Conference & Training

Nov. 18     DISTRICT CONFERENCE  & TRAINING     Wright’s Chapel UMC
Jan. 20 PPR COMMITTEE TRAINING Trinity King George
District Superintendent: Rev. Dr. Theodore Smith
District Lay Leader:
Ms. Debbie Dietrich      debbiedietrich6@gmail.com
District Associate Lay Leaders:
District Lay Servant Ministry Director Greg Sokolowski  Gregory.sokolowski@navy.mil
Heartwood Director: Rev. Gayle Porias gayleporias@vaumc.org
District Secretary: Ms. Lynn Manley rappahannockriverdistrict@vaumc.org
Administrative Assistant: Ms. Pam Blalock pamblalock@vaumc.org
Mailing Address: PO BOX 100, Ladysmith, VA 22501 Phone   804.448.8326     FAX        804.448.8328 
Office Location: Inside Wright’s Chapel UMC at 8063 Ladysmith Road, Ruther Glen, VA (do not use for mail)